The tank is 8 gallons. Nothing else will be living with the one betta. I would consider a snail at some point, but that's not in my plans any time soon. I have been using Flourish Comprehensive since starting up the tank, though I have put it in 2 times a week. I will cut back on that if you think it will still be beneficial! I almost bought some Prime the other day when at the store, I suppose I should pick it up for real next time. Right now I just have the Aqueon Betta water conditioner.
Oh and as for the new plants themselves, I went with some plants in the "Low Light" section on the site I got them from. I got bacopa carolina, java fern, hygrophila corymbosa and some micro sword (ok that was a medium light plant but I liked it for the foreground and thought I'd take my chances :D). I also have 2 moss balls from when I first got the tank. Hoping to get a good photo up soon!
You can do twice a week, but if your light isn't bright enough to balance the extra nutrients you can end up with an algae problem. Every tank is different, so there is no stead fast rule on that.
Of the plants you list, only the two stem plants will grow quickly with the Hygrophila being the fastest. The others are slow growers.
The microsword.... well, that will be luck based. From my experience though, in low to medoerate light it doesn't do much. Stays alive, but doesn't really grow much. I believe it needs upper end of moderate to bright lighting, and CO2 injection to really take off. All my tanks are low-tech so I don't mess with the whole CO2 injection thing. It sets the bar higher for everything else (balance remember).
I have the Aqueon 8 and had it heavily planted. The stock LED didn't do much so most of my original plants died. Kfryman, one of the planted tank gurus on this site, pointed me to the "Finnex FugeRay Aquarium LED Light Plus Moonlights, 12-Inch" light. My wife bought it for me as an xmas present and it looks like it will do the trick (I turned it on just to make sure it works, prior to my wife gift-wrapping it). It is highly regarded by serious planted tank people so I'm excited to deck out my tank again with live plants. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o00_s01_i00
As someone else mentioned, the Aqua SafeStart worked for me as well -- my tank cycled in about 6days after I put that stuff in!
Wow, that's a nice looking light! It's interesting about your experience with the LED light - the same thing basically happened to me! However I realize now through the help of some people here that I chose medium to high light plants. I am sure that didn't help. They went through a first round of losing leaves, etc. I pruned them and hoped for the best. They were definitely growing (albeit slow) because new shoots were forming...but I lost leaves again in a second round and decided to start all over again with low light plants. I am hoping these new ones make it! If they don't, then I may seriously consider that light. I know it sounds really dumb, but I like when things are..."the way they are supposed to be". I want the light to match the tank it goes with. You know? But it's really just being anal about aesthetics :) And anyhow, it looks like yours is really sleek. I'd love to see pics of how it looks once you've got it on your Evolve! Good luck to you too!
I build my own LED light fixture for my 20 gallon. It uses two ultra high power 5665K LEDs. each one of those LEDs is equivalent to an 18" T8 tube. I actually bought three, but figured that would just be too much without CO2 injection.
Of course as usual, DYI projects don't look as nice as store bought ;) At least when you're just an Engineer and not an artist (or craftsman in this case).
Yeah I know what you mean about aesthetics... I looked all over the web to see if I could buy another stock LED fixture but they just dont sell them. I'll post pics with the new light once everything is set up. I have floating plants for the most part right now with the stock light and they seem to be doing okay (no melting yet) so hopefully with the new light I can at least plant most of them in the substrate to make the tank look even better.